NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS/AP) – Two Philadelphia men were arrested and charged with burglary and other crimes for allegedly breaking into 10 churches in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks Counties. They are accused of stealing safes, precious metals and electronics, prosecutors announced Friday.
Authorities allege that Gabriel E. Minnick, 21, and Samaj Howard, 20, both of Philadelphia, burglarized the churches over about a month earlier this year, typically going in at night through first-floor windows.
They’re accused of taking a TV from a nursery, cash from a collection box for the poor and bottles of wine, among other things. They also allegedly damaged church buildings and also face charges related to three stolen vehicles, prosecutors said.
“Our churches do an extraordinary amount of good in our communities. To steal from and damage a church is reprehensible. It’s an egregious crime against the entire community,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said.
Neither man has been able to make bail and both remain in the Montgomery County jail. A message was left for Minnick’s public defender. Howard didn’t have a defense lawyer listed on his online court docket.
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